All Things Amish – Amish Christmas
I have 8 Amish books out at this point – and 8 more contracted to release over the next 3 years. Two of those books are about Christmas – specifically how the Amish celebrate Christmas, and how they deal with the normal ups and downs of life during this holiday season.
You could say I’ve spent a fair amount of time researching and visiting with Amish folk. I’m hoping some of that good common sense rubs off on me. But just when I think I’m getting a good grasp of how to simplify my holiday season, I have a day that completely unravels. I start feeling anxious about the wrong things. I become overwhelmed.
Probably that happens to Amish women as well. Maybe not as often though. So I thought I’d take a moment today to remind myself (and maybe you) of some of the ways we can enjoy the season rather than endure the season. Of some ways to nurture a SIMPLE Christmas:
- Focus on people, not things. If someone calls or comes to visit–put aside your deadlines or to-do lists and enjoy the person you’re with.
- Stop looking for the “perfect” gift. Most of the time, there isn’t one. Instead, try to think of what would bring a smile to the face of the person you love.
- Relax. It’s kind of hard to do sometimes. Often we have tight shoulders, aching heads, and an anxious spirit. Focus on relaxing and allowing the joy of Christ to fill your soul.
- Ease up on the decorating. I love Christmas decorations. We put up our little 4 foot tree last night. But I did NOT try to put out all the decorations I have stored. It exhausted me to think about it. A small tree, garland on the mantle, and a wreath on the door are enough for this year.
- Read the story of the Christ child. You can find it in all 4 of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), as well as references in Isaiah. Take a few moments to settle down and let these words sink into your soul.
I love Christmas, and I hope — this year — to find ways to allow the peace of Christ rule in my heart and my home.
ps – I posted a new contest last week–Christmas Contest #4. You can enter here.
Mid-week Inspiration, Saint Nicholas Day
I received an email from my editor yesterday. “Say, St. Nicholas Day is coming up on December 6! You should put your shoe out!” Put my shoe out? Out where? Why? She gently reminded me that she had already explained this Dutch/German tradition and sent me a link to Wikipedia. What fun!
In Northern Germany, Sankt Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. Many children put a boot called Nikolaus-Stiefel (Nikolaus boot) outside the front door on the night of 5 December. St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts and sweets overnight, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good, polite and helpful the last year. If they were not, they will have a tree branch (Rute) in their boots instead
What fun! I love traditions. I even have a boot I could put outside. Or maybe I should use one of Bob’s. They’re bigger. I’d have to remove the cat first though. Whether you put a boot out or not, I pray that you will find comfort and joy in the traditions of the season.
ps – I posted a new contest on Saturday–Christmas Contest #4. You can enter here.
Our 4th Christmas Drawing
I hope you’re enjoying these Christmas drawings. I love, love, love reading your responses, and I am sure that you are bringing a bit of sunshine to others who visit this site.
And I pray you had a lovely thanksgiving. The next month is a special time, often filled with family, friends, and special moments together. I hope you’ve had a chance to pick up a copy of The Christmas Quilt, as it might give you some ideas of ways to simplify your holiday season.
Now let’s do another Christmas give-away! Today we’ll give away–
- A ruffle scarf I crocheted
- A quilted angel ornament
- BLING from me–letter opener, keychain with a flashlight, fridge magnet.
- Plus I’ll send a signed bookplate as well.
To enter, please leave a comment below telling me why you love December. I know you have some wonderful reasons–even you snow-bound people. To earn an extra entry, post on facebook, tweet, email to someone or call someone! If you want to post on Facebook or tweet, you could put –
What does a ruffle scarf, a quilted angel, and bling have in common? Find out at http://vannettachapman.com/blog/. @vannettachapman #amishromance
Post another comment letting me know you’ve posted, tweeted or shared and you’ll be entered TWICE! Blessings to each of you. May your December be all that you hope it will be.
PS – Our last two winners were Tina Rice and Jody Rigle. A big thanks to everyone for entering and sharing this contest.
Mid-week Inspiration, Thanksgiving
A psalm for giving grateful praise.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Blessings to each of you during this holiday season,
ps – There’s still time to enter Christmas Contest #3. You can do so here.
Harley, Gracyn, & The Christmas Quilt
I’ve been looking forward to sharing this post with you for some time now. For each book that is in the Quilts of Love series, Abingdon Press is giving away a quilt to a charity or cause. Since my book, The Christmas Quilt is about a 9 patch crib quilt, that’s what we were able to purchase at Lolly’s Fabrics in Shipshewana.
At the same time, we learned that a little girl named Gracyn had a rare disease. Here is how her mom explains it.
She has a disease that her body is killing her own platelets. MOST children are over this before six months. Gracyn is going on a year Oct of being sick. Adults and one out of ten kids never get over this. Only ONE IN FIVE HUNDRED Continue reading
Mid-week Inspiration, Country Stores
I’m a sucker for a country store. It’s a wonder that we ever arrive at our destination. I like walking across the old floors, checking out shelves with all manner of items–some I don’t even know what they are! And I adore old-fashioned. Country stores, in my opinion, are one Continue reading
Our 3rd Christmas Drawing
We’ve had our first cold front here in central Texas. WooHoo! I love it when old man winter visits, but then again–we’re just happy it isn’t still 100 degrees! Christmas is a fun time for me, and that’s why I enjoyed writing the The Christmas Quilt.
So let’s do another Christmas give-away! Today we’ll give away– Continue reading
Mid-week Inspiration, Little Things
It’s that time of year. Isn’t it? The advertisements ramp up. The stores have glitzier displays. And my wallet somehow gets thinner! But sometimes good things don’t cost a cent. Sometimes it just takes noticing them around us.
I was recently on a trip in the northeast. We saw a lot of amazing things–lots of historical sites and Continue reading
Veterans Day and Giving Thanks
I’m going to interrupt our normally scheduled blog. I had planned to discuss Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays as well as Amish life. Instead I’d like to post today about Veterans Day, which will be observed Monday, November 11th.
I live near Ft. Hood/Killeen, so I’m reminded daily of the sacrifice folks in the armed services make. My students often join the military. I see young girls who marry, only to watch their loved done deploy for Continue reading
Mid-week Inspiration– Counting Your Blessings
I love this time of year. As we approach Thanksgiving, we’re all reminded to be grateful, to pause and consider our blessings. If you are on Facebook, you’ll see lots of folks posting what they’re thankful for each day – 30 days of gratitude. What a wonderful idea!
I’d like to suggest another idea to you. How about 365 days of gratitude? Sound like too much? It’s really not. You can develop an attitude of gratitude. Continue reading